Laser therapy is a treatment that uses a strong beam of light to cut, burn, or destroy tissue. The term LASER stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation."
The laser light beam comes from safe sources so that it poses no health risks to the patient or medical team.
Lasers can be used for many medical purposes. Because the laser beam is so small and precise, it allows doctors to safely treat tissue without injuring the surrounding area.
Lasers are often used during these procedures:
- Treating varicose veins
- Corneal eye surgery to improve vision
- Repairing a detached retina of the eye
- Removing the prostate
- Removing kidney stones
- Removing tumors
- Skin surgery
Atebara NH, Thall EH. Principles of lasers. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 2.4.
Neumayer L, Vargo D. Principles of preoperative and operative surgery: surgical devices and energy sources. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 11.
Sakamoto FH, Avram MM, Anderson RR. Lasers and other energy technologies: principles and skin interactions. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 136.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.